Earlier this year, a friend of mine invited me for coffee at a new place called The Treehouse, and as much as I wasn’t feeling well, I decided it would do me good to get some fresh air. As I walked in and sat down, my eyes were immediately drawn to an amazing painting of a jellyfish hanging on the wall. The colours were amazing, and I wanted to find out more about the artist and their other artwork, as well as tell them that I had my eyes on this piece. I tracked down the artist Natasha Laidlaw, and asked if she would mind being featured on my blog, and as a fellow female business owner, if she would be happy to tell us a bit more about herself, and how she launched her own business. Please see below for her inspirational story, her highs and lows, the challenges faced, and her advice for other women who may be considering starting their own business.
My name is Natasha Laidlaw and my business is Hough Art and Design. I grew up in Newquay, spent a bit of time away at University before returning in 2003 and I’m still here! I’m in my forties now and began my business about 6 months ago, and up until now much of my life has been spent working in primary education, with art lessons always my favourite ones to teach. I have been a creative person ever since childhood and have always dabbled with painting, but it wasn’t until 2016 when I decided to learn the skills of painting more professionally.
I have learnt there are many hurdles to overcome owning a creative business. The very first and biggest challenge for me was to overcome self limiting thoughts about my work. Is my art good enough? Will anyone like my art? Will anyone actually buy my art? I would say the reason for such a late start in business was because of these thoughts, however, age and life experience has taught me to think differently. I now have an improved positive mindset, not perfect yet, but getting there.
I feel blessed and absolutely love working for myself, it fits around my family life really well because I can choose the hours of my work. I’m also lucky enough to have a varied work pattern because my business includes design work which has led me to also manage a record label. Much of this work is design based with track cover artwork, social content creation and video creation. I enjoy this aspect of my business just as much as the painting aspect.
The best advice I would give to any women setting up in business would be to keep going and be resilient, there will always be knock backs, but rejoice in the successes and use those successful moments as fuel to keep going. I would also say to be properly prepared before taking the plunge, and do as much research as you can about the market, costs, realistic sales/income etc. Most of all I would say go for it and have no regrets, I wish I had started earlier, but I feel blessed to be given this chance now.
You can view and purchase my work through my website and through Amazon, please see links below, and I also use FB and Instagram, again links shown below. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, and thank you for reading my blog post.